Best Banana Substitutes For Baking, Smoothies, And More

Banana Substitute

The delicious banana is a versatile fruit. It’s delicious for eating, is an excellent cooking ingredient, makes smoothies better, and is a rather useful unit of measurement! The world may love this fruit (it’s also a berry!), but what if you want your dish to be free of bananas? Well, here are some banana substitutes you could go bananas over!

This fruit has more than a thousand types, classified into various groups and types. The most common type of banana, the one you usually find in the market, is Cavendish. If you’re in the USA or Europe, that’s very likely the variety you know as banana. So, the options listed here work as Cavendish substitutes.

So, let’s take a look.

Top Banana Substitutes To Use

1. Plantains

Using plantains isn’t as much of a replacement, it’s more about using a different variety of bananas. Cavendish is the most popular variety because it is easy to transport over long distances without getting spoiled. If you’re looking to replace bananas because you don’t like the taste, give this or another variety a shot.

Plantains are less sweet, but bigger, starchier, and have a creamier texture. They’re more common in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, though with different uses. Plantains have a thicker skin that often needs a knife for peeling. They’re generally used in cooking and go great with savory dishes.

2. Sweet Potato

Mash and cook those sweet potatoes and you’ve got an excellent banana substitute for smoothies. Sweet potatoes bring a rich and creamy texture to the smoothies, with a touch of nutty flavor. They’re especially good for chocolate, citrus fruits, and berries.

They’re good to go for baked foods as well, so they sort of cover most substitutions for bananas. The exact replacement ratio can depend on taste, but usually, use half a cup of sweet potatoes to replace a banana.

3. Avocado

Avocado’s creamy and soft texture looks pretty good to work as a banana replacement. Put it to use in smoothies, muffins, and baked goods. Avocado doesn’t pack much by way of sweetness, so you might want to add some sugar to the mix.

The creamy texture and mild taste of avocados make themselves useful in this scenario. They go particularly well with greens like spinach and kale, though you will find them enjoyable with berries and chocolate as well.

4. Apple Sauce

Apple sauce (or applesauce) is often considered one of the best substitutes for bananas. Conventional ingredients here include apples, sugar, cinnamon, and some other spices. Its texture is almost the same as bananas, so the substitution will have a similar, natural mouthfeel.

The taste is different, of course, but it isn’t too far off to be unsavory. Replace a banana with half a cup of applesauce.

5. Frozen Fruit

Frozen fruit is an interesting ingredient for smoothies. It’s an odd choice, but it works quite well. Using whole frozen fruit in a smoothie gives it a thicker consistency and a good texture. This is due to the lack of liquid (since it’s frozen). As the fruit melts, the smoothie will get thinner, though it won’t be watered down. Ain’t that neat!

6. Coconut Cream

You can’t really use coconut to substitute bananas, but coconut cream is an entirely different beast. It’s thicker and contains more fat than conventional coconut milk. It’s a useful thickening agent and finds application throughout the board, ranging from smoothies to curries. 

Use some of it in a smoothie to get the texture right, or use it in baking. Consider using only a small amount since it has a high fat content and easily discernible coconut flavor. Personally, I love the coconut flavor, but some might find it out of place, especially when used as a substitution.

7. Mango

Mango is amongst the most loved fruits and flavors in the world. This tropical fruit goes well with sweet and savory dishes alike. Use it in sauces, smoothies, dessert toppings, salads, and more. Mango is a very versatile fruit and will lend itself well to most uses and taste requirements.

8. Greek Yogurt

The job of Greek yogurt as a banana replacement is to get the texture right. It is creamier and thicker than regular yogurt, getting very close to the consistency of bananas. It’s a good option for smoothies, but you might want to get around the tart and sour flavor of Greek yogurt. You can use it for dips, sauces, and marinades as well.

Read more: The Best Yogurt Substitutes And How To Use Them

9. Quinoa

Want to pick a healthier substitute? Quinoa is a well known and healthy food that makes stunning smoothies when spiced with the right ingredients. The best way is to quick some quinoa and blend it with your choice of fruits or vegetables. That’s the way to a delicious, nutritious, and healthy smoothie.

10. Eggs (Egg Whites)

Eggs are an excellent substitute for bananas in baking. Generally speaking, bananas are often used as a vegan substitute for eggs in baking. The reverse works as well and you can use eggs or egg whites as a substitute. 

Of course, the substitution won’t work for banana bread, but it’s good for most other requirements.

11. Oatmeal

Oatmeal comes from processed oats. It’s a healthy choice that’s rich in nutrients and has a texture that goes well for smoothies, and goes as well for smoothies, cookies, and breads. Grind it for use as a thickener in smoothies and the same principle can apply for baking as well.

12. Canned Pumpkin

The consistency of canned pumpkin can be a great asset to replace bananas in a recipe. Canned pumpkin adds that distinct fall flavor that you can accentuate with some cinnamon to enhance the feel. 

It can work as an excellent choice in smoothies and helps thicken the texture. In most cases, you can use half a cup of canned pumpkin to replace a banana. However, feel free to experiment to get the desired taste and consistency.

13. Silken Tofu

Getting the texture and consistency right in a vegan favorite should make a lot of people happy. Sure, it’s no banana, but silken tofu has the right texture to be a replacement. In texture, it’s quite close to yogurt and canned pumpkin, so it goes similarly well with smoothies. 

Keep in mind, there is no sweetness in silken tofu. You might have to consider adding sugar, honey, agave nectar, or even dates to sweeten it up.

14. Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables in a smoothie? Well, why not! Veggies like zucchini and cucumber can take on this role quite like frozen fruits. The good part is, when frozen, the vegetable-like taste of these ingredients is subdued, so the smoothie won’t feel out of place. 

Do remember that the smoothie will be exceptionally thick, so using a spoon isn’t out of the question. You might also want to eat or drink it before the veggies melt and get more active with their flavor. Many people do enjoy cucumber smoothies, so the melting might actually be a plus.

FAQs And More

Can you replace fresh bananas with frozen bananas in baking?

Replacing fresh bananas with frozen depends on the intended use. If the banana is expected to be the binder, frozen bananas can’t do the job. On the other hand, if your goal is to get the flavor or texture, go ahead and add the frozen fruit. The latter part works the same way as other ingredients like frozen berries.

How do you peel a frozen banana?

Short answer, you don’t. The smart move is to peel a banana before freezing. It’s not worth the effort to struggle in peeling a frozen banana. If you’ve got the knife skills, you could cut the frozen banana in half. Then work through the center to slowly peel away the frozen skin. It won’t get the best results, but it’s an acceptable way out.

Can bananas help with belly fat?

Bananas can be helpful in managing belly fat. That’s largely because this fruit is rich in healthy fibers that give the body a feeling of being full and reduce appetite. The fruit also contains some non-digestible fibers that prevent the body from absorbing carbs.

Conclusion

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They find use in several recipes, including those for smoothies and baking. If you would like to use something else, there are some very interesting options to use as banana substitutes. Many of these have specific uses, but they can deliver on quality and function. Besides, many of these options might even do the job better!

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